System Monitor overview

With System Monitor, you can measure the performance of your own computer or other computers on a network in the following ways:

Collect and view the real-time performance data of a local computer or several remote computers.

View data collected either currently or previously in a counter log.

Present data in a printable graph, histogram, or report view.

Incorporate System Monitor functionality into applications that support ActiveX controls, for example, Web pages, and Microsoft Word or other applications in the Microsoft Office suite.

Create HTML pages from performance views.

Create reusable monitoring configurations that can be installed on other computers using Microsoft Management Console.

With System Monitor, you can collect and view extensive data about the usage of hardware resources and the activity of system services on computers you administer. You can define the data you want the graph to collect in the following ways:

Type of data. To select the data to be collected, you specify performance objects, performance counters, and object instances 

Some objects provide data on system resources (such as memory); others provide data on the operation of applications (for example, system services or Microsoft BackOffice applications running on your computer).

Source of data. System Monitor can collect data from your local computer or from other computers on the network where you have permission. By default, administrative permission is required. In addition, you can include real-time data or data collected previously using counter logs.

Sampling parameters. System Monitor supports manual, on-demand sampling or automatic sampling based on a time interval you specify. When viewing logged data, you can also choose starting and stopping times so that you can view data spanning a specific time range.

In addition to options for defining data content, you have considerable flexibility in designing the appearance of your System Monitor views:

Type of display. System Monitor supports graph, histogram, and report views. The graph view is the default view; it offers the widest variety of optional settings.

Display characteristics. For any of the three views, you can define the colors and fonts for the display. In graph and histogram views, you can select from many different options when you view performance data:

Provide a title for your graph or histogram and label the vertical axis.

Set the range of values depicted in your graph or histogram.

Adjust the characteristics of lines or bars plotted to indicate counter values, including color, width, style, and so on.

For more information about the performance monitoring process, see Introduction to Performance

For more information about the System Monitor user interface, see System Monitor interface

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